SRINAGAR: Just a week after the power department announced that it will bring outages down in Kashmir, winter season-like power cuts continue to disturb daily routines during the ongoing holy month of Ramadan, perhaps for the first time in April in the recent past.
The power cuts even occur at the times of Sehri and Iftari, upsetting the occasion and hampering their observance.
The cuts have been reported from every nook and cranny of the valley. Muhammad Attar, a resident of Bemina area, told Kashmir Reader that in the first week of Ramadan, there has been no day when the cuts didn’t occur, particularly during the Sehri and Iftari timings.
This goes on despite all the top administrators including the Lieutenant Governor promising uninterrupted supply during the holy month.
April, the beginning of spring season, generally reduces the duration and frequency of power cuts the Valley faces during winter, cuts which are often attributed to increase in power consumption during winter. But this April has broken that impression. The cuts remain the same as in winters — for hours together.
Aijaz Dar, Chief Engineer of the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited, told Kashmir Reader that the cuts are due to increase in power load. According to him, the power load is 1950 MWs, against the routine of 1500 MWs in the month of April. He said the department has supplied 1630 MWs, the highest the department can do.
“It is due to the cold weather that power consumption has gone up. People must use power judiciously. That is the only way to get over it,” he added.
A cold wave has begun to sweep the valley once again after inclement weather for a week now.
As of now, the power department cannot supply more than 1600 MWs because of lack of distribution infrastructure. Until this lacuna remains in the system, the problem is going to remain.
Insha Chirag, a resident of Shopian district, told Kashmir Reader that Batapora area, where her residence is, reels under darkness for most of the time these days.
Such outages are explained by the fact that the season of traditional kangris, or fire pots, is over. The cold wave is being beaten with the use of electrical gadgets. But what to do when there is no electricity, Insha asks. According to her, the work at her father’s office, Gulshan Agri Limited, too gets affected because when there is no power, there is no way to beat the cold.
Kashmir Reader spoke to people from Baramulla, Srinagar, and Pulwama, and all of them shared the same stories of long, frequent power outages.